An improvement to the digital infrastructure and technology of a town can have a direct benefit on the economy of the area according to a study by O2 aimed at digitalising Britain. The study 'Rebalancing Britain: Inspiring thriving Digital Communities', is designed to close the digital divide between the north and south of Britain by looking at the current state of digital economies across the country and suggesting improvements.
The benefits can be seen in increased worker productivity, improvements to its supply chain and the creation of new jobs. The industries experiencing the strongest benefit would be retail, business support services and professional services.
This investigation by O2 initially focused on St, Helens where an estimated 10% improvement of £46.3 million could be seen. By making improvements to 8 more towns in northern England this could bring £410 million and wider scale improvements suggest up to £1.5 billion extra for the British economy.
Ben Dowd, O2’s business director said, “This report is a stark reminder that digital plays a crucial role in delivering future economic growth and rebalancing the chronic North-South economic divide currently gripping our economy. Through our Digital Communities pilot we’ve seen first-hand the benefits that relatively simple connectivity, such as new wifi hotspots and smartphones, can bring to an entire town.“